September 23

Read Amos 6 -- Obadiah 1







The Edomites had been hostile to the Israelites for centuries because Esau (Edom) blamed his brother Jacob (Israel) for his loss of the family birthright. Esau had shown contempt for the Abrahamic birthright by marrying heathen women. The giving of the birthright to Jacob in exchange for a simple meal (Genesis 25:33) revealed Esau's disregard for spiritual values and his contempt for God. Knowing the hearts of these two brothers, God said of them: Jacob I loved (chose), but Esau I have hated (rejected) (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3).

The prophet Obadiah foretold the eventual triumph of Israel, as well as the complete destruction of the Edomites: For your violence against your brother Jacob. . . . you shall be cut off forever . . . for the Lord has spoken (Obadiah 1:10,18).

Esau had moved to Mount Seir, where the Edomites, his proud and cruel descendants, felt secure in their mountain fortress. Their self-sufficiency and disinterest in God led them to ignore Obadiah's warning.

While leading Jacob's descendants out of Egypt, Moses requested permission to pass peaceably through the land of Edom on the way to the Promised Land; but the Edomites refused (Numbers 20:14-21).

About 600 years later, in the days of Jehoshaphat and Jehoram, the Edomites conspired with Ammon and Moab against Judah and took Israelite captives. They also raided Judah in the days of King Ahaz to take even more captives to be their slaves (II Chronicles 20:1-2, 22-23; 21:8-9, 16-17; 28:16-17; II Kings 8:20-22; Joel 3:3-8; Amos 1:6,9). When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonian army, some of the Jewish escapees tried to flee out of the land; but, the Edomites took advantage of the fleeing Israelites and blocked roads, robbed them, and delivered the refugees to the Babylonians (Obadiah 1:12-14). Because of their treachery, God foretold that Edom would be utterly destroyed (1:9-10,18).

About four years after the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar's army swept through Ammon, Moab, and Edom. This territory became known as Idumaea, from which came Herod, the Roman-appointed puppet king who sought to kill the Child Jesus. Eventually, the Edomites disappeared from history, just as Obadiah foretold. Unlike the prophecy against the Edomites, Obadiah foretold that Judah would recover and one day would possess their possessions (1:15-17).

Today social prestige and wealth often bring the same false sense of security. Some are deceived and fail to realize that pride goes before destruction (Proverbs 16:18).

The message of Obadiah also gives a sense of assurance, encouragement, and hope to the people of God. Even in the midst of overwhelming odds, the absolute justice of God and assurance of His faithfulness encourage us to know that the principles of right and wrong never change. Jesus expressed the inevitable spiritual Law of God's Kingdom: As you would that men should do to you, do you also to them (Luke 6:31).

Christ Revealed: As the Plumbline (Amos 7:7-8). A plumb line is an instrument used in measuring an absolutely straight vertical line. Christ alone is qualified to walk in the midst of His people, measuring and exposing good and bad, true and false (Rev. 2 and 3).

Word Studies: Amos 6:8 excellency means pride; 6:11 with breaches means into ruins; with clefts means into fragments; 6:13 horns means military power (Deut. 33:17; I Kings 22:11); Obadiah 1:12 looked on means gloated over; 1:21 saviours means deliverers.

Prayer Needs:
Government Official: Rep. Bob Clement (TN) · Pray for Nabil Ajamian, Voice of the Truth, editor for Arabic translation · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Dr. John Hash and Family · Country: Azerbaijan (8 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia · Major languages: Azeri and Russian · Religious freedom · 80% Muslim; 3% Russian/Armenian/Georgian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Continue to watch and pray with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).

Memory Verse for the Week: Luke 6:31